Posted in less is more, Money Matters

C.R.E.A.M.

C(ash) R(ules) E(verything) A(round) M(e)

Although having a minimalist mindset, for me, isn’t so much about spending less as it is about living with less, I find myself seriously evaluating where all my money goes. I, mean, I have worked in banking for the last twenty-three and a half years, so I check my bank account damn near every day. While I see the money trickling in yet pouring out, I haven’t been mindful (There’s that word again!) of where the moolah is actually going. I’ve always been focused on is my balance correct and not so much on “Why the fuck did I just buy that?!”

Well, that’s changing, and I know the above statement may be somewhat controversial, but let’s face it: You need money! Specifically, you need cash to obtain freedom — freedom from debt, freedom from worry about not having enough money, freedom from everything that suppresses you from not having enough money!!!

What’s so upsetting for me right now is that I’ve always maintained the belief that I don’t have “enough money” to pay down my debt. I challenged my own mindset by pulling my last three bank statements and highlighting every purchase that wasn’t a necessity (rent, utilities, food, insurance…) and the numbers were staggering! Mind-blowing is more like it. After I crunched the numbers, I realized that I could’ve cut the balance on a debt-consolidation loan I have by half. HALF!!!!

Y’all!!!!!! I wish I could kick my own ass! But I’ve allowed myself five minutes of anger and sorrow, and now, it’s time to get to work. I have never been as serious about getting out of debt than I am at this moment. I’ll be fifty in three years, and I want to enter the next phase of my life debt-free. I don’t want to be paying frivolous bills on shit that I probably will no longer own.

That’s another thing! I’m paying debt today for shit I no longer own! If that ain’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is…

My plan? Track my spending for thirty days, and I mean, log every cent that I’ve spent, along with why I felt I needed to make that purchase. At the end of the thirty days, I’ll reassess and determine if the purchase was a necessity or a frivolity. Then I’ll determine if I could’ve done without the frivolous purchase and created other ways to satisfy that need without having to spend money.

Yes, I’m probably overthinking this, but that’s what I do. I’ll follow up next month with my findings.

Posted in Health, Life

2018: The Year of Self-Care

2017 really tried a sista, and if I take one thing away from the year that was, it’s I did not take time for me. I received a very demanding yet rewarding promotion at work (an actual highlight) that literally consumed everything in me. I was so focused on proving that I deserved this promotion (Duh, why would I get promoted if I already hadn’t proven myself?) that I neglected myself—physically, emotionally, even spiritually. I often worked ten plus hours a day and many Saturdays (with no overtime!) because I wanted to be the woman! Coupled with my indie editing side-hustle, which I find equally rewarding and satisfying, I had no time for me, Patrice.

Sleep (what’s that?) was often an afterthought where I averaged anywhere from five and a half to six and a half per weeknight. I was lucky to clock in up to ten on the weekends.

Eating was often on-the-go. Fast food from Five Guys to Fridays kept me full, broke, and malnourished (I still love you, Five Guys ❤ ).

What free time I did have I spent vegged out in front of the TV or social media, fawning over people, places, and things.

So, what does this all have to do with minimalism? E-VE-RY-THING!!

I was a prime example of “unmindful” living. Nothing I did was with focus or intent. When existing on auto-pilot, you do what is necessary to simply survive or get by. All of these things attributed to my wasting money—eating out daily for at least two of my meals, internet shopping, extra doctor’s visits (which means extra co-pays) because my body was telling me, Not today, Satan…

I have vowed to make 2018 the year of me. Self-care has always carried this stigma (at least to me) of selfishness. If you put yourself first then you don’t care about anyone else. This couldn’t be further from the truth. How can you give yourself to others while neglecting the mind and body that sustains you? I came to this realization when I literally looked in the mirror and saw dark circles, overgrown chin hairs, chipped, uneven nails, a larger than usual stomach pooch…

Now,  I know I have just described the physical manifestations of my lack of self-care, but looking your best is also part of feeling your best. It’s not vain or selfish to take an hour or two out of your week to pamper yourself physically. In fact, I need to add that to my self-care goals. And no, you don’t necessarily need to spend money to do it. But if spending $60 on a mani/pedi every two weeks is part of your self-care must-haves, then by all means, do you, boo…

By incorporating some mindful self-care rituals into my daily life, I know my minimalism journey will only be less rocky and more maintainable.

 

Posted in less is more, Life

October Goals

I have a love/hate relationship with October. The weather is wonky. Like, do I wear a jacket or nah? The days are getting shorter. I don’t know if it’s the Leo in me or if it’s in my head, but I truly get my energy from the sun. And I tend to buy more unnecessary shit this time of the year. You know, Halloween ain’t even here yet, and some places are already advertising Christmas…

Antyway… I’ve created another set of lofty, yet attainable goals for myself. It’s time to create some new fall habits.

I’ll be back on Thursday with my September wrap-up. Th good, the bad, and the

Posted in less is more, Life, Musings

On Being An Introverted Minimalist

I’ve been in my own world since I was thirteen years old. When I say my own world, I’m speaking of being attuned with who I am as a person. I don’t like large crowds. I don’t have a huge circle of friends. I don’t and have never gone clubbing. Getting me to go “out” is a struggle. I genuinely like myself, and I enjoy my own company. And because I spend so much time alone, it’s helped to form my own beliefs and principles without outside influence. I could give zero damns about what others think of me because I’ma do me regardless. And this is how I’ve earned this unspoken reputation as this unapproachable, stand-offish person when in actuality, I’m the complete opposite. Those who are “brave” enough to talk to me are often pleasantly surprised by the end of the conversation that I’m anything but.

I grew up with an extremely extroverted and animated mother. She was the literal life of the party, and she tried to her dying day to get me to be more outgoing. I appreciated her concern, but her pushing had the opposite effect. My mother was also a maximalist (My sister is so her in every sense…) It had to be big, and it had to be opulent and of the best quality. I will admit that it was my mother who taught me quality over quantity, but that’s another post for another day…

Deciding to downsize my life has been an eye-opening experience, mainly because it’s made me realize how much money I’ve wasted in the last year. I still have a consumerist mindset, and it’s like a disease. If I see it, and I like it, I have to have it! The newness of things is addictive, and I am disgusted with myself, even as I write this post. Wait til my September wrap-up post. I still have so far to go. An extra dollar burns a hole in my pocket. Still :/

 

Posted in less is more, Purging

Relax! Relate! Release!

Confession: The most difficult thing for me in this journey is letting go. Not because I spent money on it but because I live too much in the “What-ifs”.

“What if I need that later on?”

“What if I lose the other three that I have?”

“What if I actually lose those twenty pounds?”

“What if I go on Let’s Make A Deal, and Wayne asks me if I have a Samsung Razr in my bag?”

This is the shit that legit goes through my mind!

Baby steps, boo. Baby steps…

After months of putting things off, I finally forced myself to clean out my closets. I keep all my pants in one closet and everything else in another one. Anyway, when I pulled out my jeans, I discovered that I owned twelve pair. Twelve! My exact jean size, btw… Why do I own twelve pairs of jeans yet only wear three to four regularly? I don’t even wear jeans like that! I’m a leggings and sweats kinda girl (Elastic waists, anyone?)

So, in the end, I kept four pairs of jeans:

  • Denim culottes: I wanted a pair of cool, edgy denims. Don’t judge; you don’t know me like that 😛
  • Dark rinse, straight-leg: My “sophisticated” jeans to pair with heels or booties
  • Medium rinse, boyfriend cut: My comfy-fit jeans
  • Medium rinse, ripped, boyfriend cut: The jeans you pay a few bucks for to look hip when you could’ve just bought a pair of regular jeans and made your own fancy-schmancy rips and tears. (We’ll talk about smart spending in another post…)

Shall I tell you about my 8 black shirts? Nah…